Hearing On Rules To Protect Tenants Delayed

Communications, Government Affairs, Uncategorized

Hearing On Rules To Protect Tenants Delayed

The passage of St. Paul’s controversial SAFE Housing Tenant Protections Ordinance has been delayed.

The City Council on June 3 postponed a public hearing and vote on the ordinance, which would mandate several measures meant to protect tenants from unfair rental practices.

Instead of June 10, the online public hearing is now set for 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 24.  The council is expected to cast its final vote on the ordinance at 3:30 p.m. that day unless there are substantive amendments.

Speakers at the public hearing will be chosen by lottery.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the council has been only allowing written testimony in the past few months.  Written testimony will still be reviewed by the council.

Council President Amy Brendmoen has asked her fellow council members to bring in their amendments by June 10 and to be prepared to discuss them on June 17.

“I’ve heard from people on all sides of the issue,” Brendmoen said.  That includes tenant and landlord advocates and some council members who did not have their amendments finalized by June 3.

The vote to reschedule the hearing was 4-2, with Brendmoen joined in support by Rebecca Noecker, Jane Prince and Chris Tolbert.  Mitra Jalali and Nelsie Yang voted against the delay.  Jalali said supporters of the ordinance are eager to move forward.

However, other council members said they needed more time to work on their amendments.  “My focus here is to be consistent, to be fair and to be transparent,” Brendmoen said.

The SAFE (Stable, Accessible, Fair and Equitable) Housing ordinance has the support ofmany tenant-advocate, faith-based and social justice groups, but has drawn fire from landlords.  The ordinance includes regulations on rental deposits, the sale of rental property and tenant notification, tenant screening and just causes for evictions.

If adopted, the ordinance would take effect on January 1, 2021.

June 10, 2020, myvillager.com/Highland Villager

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